How Much Can A Catering Business Make

Catering businesses are incredibly popular these days, as people seek out food options that are both delicious and affordable. With a well-planned catering business, you can make a lot of money! In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that will help you achieve success in this field.

The Types of Catering Services a Business Can Offer

A catering business can provide a variety of services, such as food delivery, buffets, sit-down dinners, and catering for events. The most common type of catering is food delivery, which a business can offer through its own fleet or through contracts with other restaurants. A business can also provide buffet services, which allow customers to select their own food from a selection of dishes. A business can also offer event catering, which provides food and drink for events such as weddings, corporate meetings, and birthday parties.

The Cost of Providing Services

A catering business can generate a great deal of income through services. Average rates for wedding receptions vary, but the range is typically between $2,000 and $5,000. The cost of food and drink also varies widely, but on average it costs about $600 per hour to serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. In terms of meal prices, a typical three-course wedding meal runs between $1,500 and $3,000.

The Profit Potential of a Catering Business

A catering business can be a great way to make some extra money and expand your culinary skills. Depending on the size of your business and what you serve, you could be making anywhere from $10,000 to well into the six-figure range. Here are some tips on how to maximize your profits:

1. Diversify your menu. While catering to a specific demographic (like weddings or corporate events) can be lucrative, offering a wider variety of dishes will appeal to a wider audience and maximize your profits. This means not being afraid to try new recipes or ingredients and expanding your horizons beyond typical wedding fare.

2. Think outside the pie dish. Many catering businesses focus exclusively on dessert pies, cakes, and other pastries. However, there are many other types of food that can be successfully served as part of a meal or buffet. For example, savory pies like shepherd’s pie can be a big hit at outdoor events, while chicken pot pie is perfect for winter gatherings. If you have an inventive twist on classic fare, chances are people will love it!

3. Get creative with pricing. When pricing items for catering, it’s important to consider both the cost of ingredients and the labor involved in preparing them. For example, items like salads or side dishes can be priced lower than desserts or main course dishes. And since most catering customers are looking for value, it’s a good idea to keep your menu prices low enough to make a profit while still providing high-quality food.

4. Focus on customer service. It’s important to provide top-notch service both during the booking process and on the day of the event. This means being organized and responsive to questions, ensuring that all food and drink are ready when it’s scheduled to arrive, and being available to resolve any problems that may arise. If you can manage everything smoothly from start to finish, you’ll be sure to leave customers happy and coming back for more!

Marketing Strategies for Catering Businesses

If you are thinking of starting a catering business, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, research your target market and what they want. Next, create a marketing plan that is tailored to your audience and goals. Finally, be prepared to invest time and effort into your business. If you do these things correctly, you can make a handsome income from your catering business. Here are some tips for making the most of your catering business:

1. Know Your Target Market

Unless you are serving food to people who live on a remote island, it is important to understand your target market. What types of food do they like? What do they think about specific cuisine styles? Once you know this information, it will be much easier to create marketing materials that speak to them specifically.

2. Create a Marketing Plan That Reflects Your Audience

While no two caterings will be the same, it is important that your marketing strategy reflect the type of food you serve and the atmosphere you are aiming for. For example, if you offer farm-to-table cuisine, try to create marketing materials that showcase this aspect of your food. If you offer traditional American fare, make sure your marketing materials reflect this.

3. Invest Time and Effort into Your Business

Catering businesses are not easy to start and maintain. You will need to be willing to invest time and effort into your business in order to make it successful. This includes planning your menus, creating marketing materials, and maintaining a consistent branding strategy.


Assuming you have a well-oiled catering operation and are using top-quality ingredients, your business could potentially make quite a bit of money. However, caterers should always be prepared for unexpected expenses (like health code violations) that can drive up costs and take away profits. So while it’s certainly possible to make a lot of money as a catering business, it won’t be easy – there will be plenty of challenges along the way.